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9/3/20- Music Education for Refugees

Today I want to share an article with you that is about the research of Florida State University doctoral student Carrie Danielson. She studies ethnomusicology (the study of music of different cultures), and prior to the pandemic, she won an award that enabled her to spend 9 months researching in Sweden. Recognizing the influx of Syrian and Afghanistan refugee children in Sweden during 2015-2018, Carrie decided to examine how Swedish culture schools (Kulturskolor) enable those students to experience music. The arts curriculum is so strong in these public schools that she was able to witness how refugee students "share [their] perceptions of [their] journey through music, which is something that’s not always so accessible."

This article combined two of issues that I am passionate about: connecting with refugees through music and arts education in schools. It was fascinating to read about the systems Sweden already has in place to bring together refugee students with their peers through the arts. What was more shocking was these culture schools are not run by non-profits or non-governmental organizations; it is through the municipalities and democratically funded. Carrie Danielson has not released her research yet, but I am looking forward to reading what she found about the effects of music on refugee students and acceptance within the community. Maybe the US could learn something from what she finds!


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"Music is the universal language of mankind."

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow